Parks and Rec fall programming packed with colorful fun

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 20, 2016


WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission recently released its fall catalog, highlighting new youth, adult and senior programs.

In addition, fall family faves like the Great West Bloomfield Camp Out, a live animal show and hayrides will return this year.

Parks and Recreation Marketing Coordinator Meagan Kurnat said that during this program session, the commission is offering one-day workshops to give youth participants a taste of the full classes. Workshops are being offered in the areas of science and computer programming. Kurnat said it allows kids the opportunity to try something new without committing to a six- or seven-week course.

The popular Cookin’ at Crispelli’s program will return and is designed for one adult and one child between the ages of 5 and 10. The program includes learning how to prepare and/or decorate different premade baked goods from the chefs of Crispelli’s Bakery and Pizzeria. The program will run 10-11 a.m. Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. Residents pay $27, and nonresidents pay $32. While the cost covers one parent and one child, an additional child can be registered for $16 for residents or $21 for nonresidents.

New this year in adult programming is Paddle Board Yoga. Kurnat said the class, which will run 9-11 a.m. Sept. 4, incorporates both yoga and paddleboarding. No previous paddleboarding experience is necessary, and beginner-level yogis are welcome. All equipment is provided. The program is for those 16 and older, and costs $60 for residents and $70 for nonresidents.

Also new is the Sunset Pick Your Paddle, which will run 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 31. The program is designed for those 18 and older, and each participant can choose to either kayak, canoe or paddleboard on Cass Lake, at Marshbank Park. Naturalist Lauren Azoury will accompany paddlers as a personal guide. All equipment is provided, and the program costs $30 for residents and $35 for nonresidents.

Azoury said that previously, the program Sunset Paddles was popular, and the Sunset Pick Your Paddle is an extension of that class and is “exciting” because there are more watercraft options. Azoury will offer instructions for each watercraft, and she will discuss different wildlife and aquatic life, including plants, fish and turtles.

“Register early for that,” Azoury said.

The Great West Bloomfield Camp Out will be held at Marshbank Park Sept. 16-17. Tent setup will begin at 4:30 p.m., with activities starting at 5 p.m.

Registration is open to people 2 years old and older, and costs $11 per resident and $13 per nonresident. Dinner and breakfast are included in the fee.

Activities include fishing, archery, hayrides, crafts, live music and s’mores by the campfire. Campers can also choose between kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. This year, the commission will hold a tent decorating contest.

Tents are available to rent for $5. Kurnat said the reason they added a fee this year is because of the limited availability, and the tent rental is through a partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Tent reservations are mandatory with event registration. Thirty more spots were added this year.

“It sells out every year, so we’re hoping to allow a few more families to participate,” Kurnat said.

Hayrides will take fall lovers on a tour of Marshbank Park to enjoy the changing of the seasons 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 14. The rides are for people ages 3 and older, and cost $8 per resident and $10 per nonresident. After the hayride, participants can enjoy seasonal cider and a fall nature craft under the picnic shelter.

On Oct. 25, people ages 3 and older can see bats from around the world at the Basically Bats — Live Animal Show. The special event is hosted by Azoury and a trained presenter from the Organization for Bat Conservation.

Azoury said this year’s theme is “What makes a bat a bat?” Families will learn about the various bat features. Live bats include an insect-eating bat from North America, a leaf-nosed bat from South America and a flying fox bat from Africa. Families can also take part in a take-home bat craft. Registration costs $8 per resident and $13 per nonresident.

Two pingpong tables will be set up in the Drake Community Room for a new pingpong drop-in program for adults 50 and older. There will be a $2 drop-in fee, and the tables will be open for games 2-4 p.m. Thursdays Sept. 1-Dec. 29. The room will be closed Sept. 29, Oct. 6, Nov. 11 and Nov. 24.

New trips have been added for adults 50 and older. Trips, which are sponsored by the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Resource Group, include a cider mill tour, the Yankee Air Museum, tours of the Morley Candy Makers factory and the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, and a trip to the Redford Theater to see “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Registration for the trips starts Aug. 31. The bus departs from the Recreation Activities Center.

“I would encourage people to register early, because they seem to be selling out,” Kurnat said.

For more information about the fall catalog or to register for programs, visit or call (248) 451-1900.